Despite the phenomenal success the military has had in vaccinating the armed forces, 大约 35,000 troops remain unvaccinated. That number includes thousands of pending requests, largely for religious exemptions.
The Army, which hit its vaccination deadline on Wednesday, has fully or partially vaccinated 98% of its active duty force, 与 3,864 soldier refusals.
下个月, the service will begin involuntarily discharging soldiers who refuse the vaccine without an approved or pending exemption.
Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth this week said vaccination was “首要的” about Army readiness as she thanked vaccinated soldiers and the medical staff who have supported the pandemic response.
“To those who continue to refuse the vaccine and are not pending a final decision on a medical or administrative exemption, I strongly encourage you to get the vaccine. 如果不, we will begin involuntary separation proceedings,” 她在一份声明中说.
The Army has not granted any of the 85 religious exemption requests it has reviewed yet, though there are still 1,661 pending requests. Six active duty leaders, including two battalion commanders, have been relieved of duty, 而 2,767 soldiers have received general officer written reprimands for vaccine refusals.
The Army is the largest service in the military, with nearly half a million active duty soldiers.
在星期三, the Navy put out its updated guidance that sailors who fail to follow the lawful order to take the vaccine will be separated.
“In order to ensure a fully vaccinated force, US Navy policy is, 第一的, that all Navy service members receive the vaccine as directed and, 第二, that any who refuse the vaccine be processed for separation at the earliest possible opportunity,” said Vice Adm. John B. Nowell, 小, the chief of naval personnel.
Any sailor who refused the vaccine but changed their mind can remain in the military.